WHEN DO THESE GUYS WORK?

December 20, 2009


WHEN DO THESE GUYS WORK

I definitely don’t want to be overly critical but have you ever wondered when our elected officials work.  How many hours do they really put in that represent “fruitful” endeavor?   Work that truly generates results.  I have a fairly good Congressional representative ( Mr. Zack Wamp—Third Congressional District, Tennessee ) and I would imagine he puts in long hours.  I get e-mails and see stories in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press of junkets, fundraising excursions, joint meetings with other Republican “types”, dinners, luncheons, etc.  His Congressional staff is adequate ( I suppose ) to handle the routine occurrences of “every day” events in Washington D.C.  I don’t really believe Zack is into pushing the boundaries of Congressional duty or thinking out of the preverbal box.  He basically tows the party line and keeps a very low profile.   I wonder though who is minding the store.  That same feeling exists “in spades”, when we look at the travels of our brand new President.    In his case there is a feeling that ‘if I’m not on television people may think I did not win’.  God forbid “my people” would ever feel I did not win.  What would Opra think?    Not being in the public eye is taken very seriously and considered a no-win situation.   Take a look:

  • 10 December          Oslo City Hall
  • 2 October                 Copenhagen
  • 10 August                Guadalajara
  • 11 July                       Ghana
  • 10 July                      The Vatican
  • 6 July                         Russia
  • 6 June                        France
  • 5 June                        Germany
  • 4 June                         Egypt
  • 7 April                        Iraq
  • 3 April                         France
  • 6 April                         Turkey
  • 3 April                         Germany
  • 2 April                          UK
  • 31 March                     UK
  • 19 February               Canada

You talk about global warming and extending your carbon footprint.   He has not yet been in office a year and yet he has logged thousands of frequent flyer miles.  Let’s also mention that the list above represents international trips and not those taken on Air Force One for “state-side” business.   It is apparent that he is very much dependent on “others” to conduct “the people’s business”.    I suspect that every President conducts himself in about the same fashion but is it not time to vote someone in who will be the President of the United States and not strive to be “king of the world”?  Let’s take a look at several areas desperately needing Presidential oversight if not Presidential attention:

  • FAA—Reorganization and new equipment were needed years ago.
  • FDA—Too few inspectors, too little time
  • FMEA—Are we really sure that New Orleans could withstand a CAT 3 or CAT 4 ( not to mention a CAT 5 ) hurricane?  We still don’t have this cat in the bag.
  • CDC—Doing a fairly good job but needing additional attention.
  • Veterans Administration—Underfunded from the get-go.
  • Commerce—Do I really need to say more?  We are driving off manufacturing at an alarming rate with no real end in sight.  Have you tried to get an SBA loan lately?  Good luck!!!!!!!!!!
  • Health Care—Congress has not and will not produce a “workable” solution.  Too many special-interest groups are in their pants.  They won’t be reelected without money being dumped into their PACTS.  Absolutely  no mention of fraudulent activities or tort reform in the present plan or plans.
  • Education—Less than a 50% graduation rate and a full 33% of our graduates can’t read at a fifth grade level.   Skill with mathematics is at an all-time low.  Significant trouble spots; Washington D.C., Detroit, Atlanta, Kansas City, Saint Louis, etc etc.  Whole generations uneducated and we seem powerless to do anything.  One of these days a dimwit will get elected to public office and we all will pay the price.  ( Come to think about it, it’s already happened.  Can anyone say Al Frankin????????)

Make your own list but, you will have to admit no one seems to be minding the store.  I have come to believe that it not a Republican thing or a Democrat thing—it is a Washington thing.   At any rate, we need a fix and need it fast.

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December 17, 2009


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TEACHERS

December 14, 2009


It is absolutely amazing what we can remember when the subject is pleasant and brings back those “glad we were there” feelings.  A recent article in a publication I subscribe to; i.e. “Machine Design”, asked the question; ‘How many high school teachers do you remember?’  The author then tried to draw conclusions between the number of great teachers to the overall level of enjoyment we experienced during our high school years.  He then tried to equate that number with work esthetic, overall GPA, accomplishments after graduation etc etc.  I don’t really know how successful he was but it did call for a small experiment on my part.

I graduated from Chattanooga Central High School in 1961.  (We don’t work we have fun we’re the class of 61!)  You know the drill.  With this being the case, I started to list, from memory, those teachers I felt, had the greatest impact on my day to day learning experiences while at Chattanooga Central.  Given below is that list.  I did not always remember their first names but then again, we never used their first names and I’m not too sure I knew most of them anyway.

 Ms.  Spitzer                Typing

 Mr. Jake Seaton       Mechanical drafting and wood working

  Ms. Rice                      Spanish

  Ms. Robinson           English literatutr

  Mr. J. Airlie Hoodenpyle    Chemistry

  Mr. Hobart Millsaps               Solid geometry

  Mr. Ollie Olyinger    Physics

  Mrs. Blair                     Advanced algebra

  Ms. Cross                     American history

  Mr. E.B. (Red) Etter  Football

  Mr. Stan Farmer        Football

  Mr. Willard Millsaps  Principal

I was amazed at how many I did remember and for all of the right reasons.  These teachers really made the difference.  They were not only fully engaged in their profession, they were very engaging individuals in their own rite.    Ms. Rice ( Spanish ) took a trip, every summer, to one of the twenty-two Spanish-speaking countries in the world.  Mr. Olyinger ( Physics ) worked summers in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Ms. Cross ( History ) had written numerous articles for several publications on Civil War history.  Ms. Robinson (Literature) had family in England and traveled to the “motherland” to participate in Shakespeare festivals.   Mr. Jake Seaton ( Shop) made and repaired ALL of the furniture used at Chattanooga Central.  It was summer work for him.  I don’t think the school ever bought a “stick” of furniture or one student desk.  They did buy literally tons of lumber.   J. Arlie ( Chemistry) spent his summers teaching chemistry at the University of Chattanooga and working as a consultant for a chemical manufacturer in our town.  Their lives demonstrated a passion for the subject they taught and the ability to put that knowledge into practice relative to very practical applications.  This really impressed all of us and the stories they could tell.  What did you do on your summer vacation took on a different meaning.  

I challenge you to try the very same little experiment. Go ahead—name them, if you can.  The ones that made a difference.


ONE TRILLION

We use the word trillion dollars as though it was absolutely commonplace and every day language;  so much so that everyone must have a trillion, be happy to give you a loan, I have plenty more where that came from.   In reality, most of us will never see a million dollars much less a billion and certainly not a trillion.  The trillion dollar figure is usually associated with our US deficit and our national debt.   That’s where we most often hear the number used.  Just this week, we read about Congress “needing” to raise the debt ceiling another $1.8 trillion to keep the FED operating.  The thought is they will ask now to avoid having to ask prior to the 2010 elections.  That wouldn’t look good at all would it?  $1.8 trillion dollars—absolutely ridiculous!

Do you really know how much a trillion is?  Let’s take a look at some numbers.

  • 1 trillion is 1 million million
  • 1 trillion is 1,000 billion
  • 1 trillion is 1 with 12 zeros; i.e. 1,000,000,000,000
  • It is $39,365.95 for every man, woman and child in the United States. ( Of course that does not include illegal aliens. )
  • If you spent 1 million dollars per day, beginning the exact day Jesus was born, you would still have 726 years before you spent it all.

Really big number right.   Our Federal deficit is $1.4 trillion dollars.  Our national debt is (are you ready for this one?)  $12,103,309,193,440.45.  Don’t forget the $0.45.  The IRS will chase you down for that.

Twelve trillion eggs would weigh a little over thirteen million tons. Twelve trillion gallons of milk would easily fill Lake Superior—four times over.  Last year, the interest on $12 trillion was a mere $385 billion dollars.

Some economists say that our total debt, due to unfunded liabilities; i.e. social security, Medicare, medicade, food stamps, etc ,is approximately $100 trillion dollars.  Do you know whose picture is on a trillion dollar bill?  YOU’RE GRANDKIDS AND YOUR GREAT GRANDKIDS.

Isn’t it about time Congress calls a halt to the spending and the bleeding?  Do you know that there are over 5,000 “earmarks” in the newly proposed health care bill?

What if we changed our Constitution so that we had permanent representation—FOR LIFE?    Incumbents forever !!!!!!   No more pesky opponents, no more campaigns, no more fund-raising, no more lying to get our vote, no more kissing up to special interest groups for their campaign donations.  There would be no real need for party affiliation.  Instead of  having the “publicans and the sinners” we would have the American Party, or better yet, no party at all.   No need to “bring home the bacon”.  Would this situation create a reduction in spending?  Quite frankly, I think not.  It is time to THROW THE BUMS OUT! Let’s start all over.  Lets air out the halls of Congress.  Surely there are men and women with a modicum of integrity left in this country who would be willing to serve their fellow man.

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